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The following article is about the tea company; for Tazos from the 1990s fad game, see Tazos.


Tazo Tea Company is a tea manufacturer and distributor based in Portland, Oregonmarker.

History

Tazo Tea was founded in 1994 by Steve Smith (who retired from Tazo in 2006) along with his business partners Stephen Lee and Tom Mesher. Lee and Smith had co-founded the Stash Tea Company in 1972. Stash was sold in the fall of 1993 to Yamamotoyama, a Japanese tea company.

Smith used his corporate connections within the food services industry to convince many restaurants, food stores, and tea houses to carry the new Tazo Teas. Smith approached Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998, seeking further investment partners.

The company was purchased by Starbucks in 1999 for $8.10 million.

Marketing

The company uses "New Age"-style marketing and product labeling. For example, every box of tea is labeled as "blessed by a certified tea shaman".

The logo uses the Exocet typeface.

A selection of Tazo teas.


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